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Ukrainian issue: After Biden and Macron, the German Chancellor takes over the role – “Western provocations” denounces the Kremlin

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With the Biden and Putin consultations proving fruitless once again in the last month, the crisis in Ukraine has reached full scale. Diplomatic efforts signaled on Saturday by a series of telephone conversations between Western leaders and Moscow failed to ease tensions over the Ukrainian issue, with the Kremlin denouncing US “hysteria” and talking about “Western provocations” and US President Joe Biden is threatening his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin with “severe sanctions” in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to CNN, the White House National Security Adviser, James Sullivan, did not say whether there was any information from the US Secret Service about a possible Russian invasion next Wednesday, despite the relevant reports. However, he reiterated that an armed invasion could take place “any day, even before the end of the Beijing Winter Olympics”, which ends on February 2.

In the same vein, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, speaking to FOX, declined to confirm reports of a Russian invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday. “I am not in a position to confirm these reports,” he said.

It is noted that the Westerners rule out the involvement of their armies in the event of war, but have predicted catastrophic financial retaliation. The White House has already outlined the scenario of a Russian attack, referring to possible “airstrikes and rocket launches” and a possible attack on the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

At the same time, Moscow insists it is “not paying a penny” for the risk of Western sanctions in the event of an invasion, according to the Russian ambassador to Sweden. “Forgive me for the expression, but we do not pay a penny for all their sanctions,” Viktor Tatarinchev told Aftonbladet. “We have already been subjected to so many sanctions and in a sense they have had a positive impact on our economy and agriculture,” he said.

For Tatarinchev, Western countries do not understand the Russian spirit: “The more the West puts pressure on Russia, the stronger the Russian response will be.” However, he assured that Russia is trying to avoid a war.

“This is the most sincere wish of our political leadership. “The last thing people want in Russia is war.”

Ukraine promises to keep its airspace open

The Ukrainian government promised on Sunday to keep its airspace open, despite the threat of invasion by Russia. “Airspace over Ukraine remains open, the state is working to prevent risks to airlines,” the Ministry of Infrastructure said in a statement posted on Facebook.

At the same time, a high-ranking Ukrainian official confirmed that Ukraine sees no reason to close its airspace. “The important thing is that Ukraine sees no reason to close airspace. This is nonsense. “And, in my opinion, it is something that would look like a kind of partial embargo,” said Mikhail Pontoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president's chief of staff.

“If certain airlines decide to reschedule their flight schedule, it certainly has nothing to do with our state decisions or policies,” he told Reuters.

In the face of increased risk, the Dutch company KLM announced that it is suspending, until recently, all flights in Ukrainian airspace. At the same time, the German Lufthansa announced that it is considering suspending its flights.

“The closure of the airspace is a sovereign right of Ukraine and no decision has been taken in this direction,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure added, following a meeting attended by officials from the presidency, airports and Ukrainian airlines.

Most airlines continue to operate, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine assures, noting that currently 29 international airlines operate flights from 34 countries.

The German chancellor will be in Kiev tomorrow and in Moscow on Tuesday

The German chancellor will tell Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting this week that Russia will face “grave consequences” if it attacks Ukraine, but Berlin does not expect tangible results from the talks. said a government source today.

Olaf Solz will travel to Kiev on Monday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and to Moscow on Tuesday to meet with Putin as part of diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions. “The chancellor will make it clear that any attack on Ukraine will have serious consequences; and that no one should underestimate the unity between the European Union, the United States and Britain,” the German government source said.

Solz will tell Putin that troop reinforcements could only be “interpreted as a threat,” the source told reporters, adding: “I do not expect tangible results, but these direct talks are important.”

A moratorium on any Ukrainian membership in NATO is not part of Soltz's “toolbox,” the source said, adding that “what happens on the ground” will determine whether Russia de-escalates tensions. “The current situation is in itself a destabilizing situation that can get out of control,” the source said.

The source also said that Solz hopes to discuss with Zelensky and Putin ways to make progress in implementing the Minsk peace agreements, which aim to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. “This is not the first time anyone has spoken to Putin about these issues, nor will it be the last,” the source said.

Source: politis.com.cy

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